FIVE O’CLOCK ICE TEA, the complete guide

FIVE O’CLOCK ICE TEA, the complete guide

Although associated with winter afternoons, summer is also perfect to drink your favorite tea in a different way – very cold – because it moisturizes, refreshes and is good for health, due to the antioxidants, minerals, and natural nutrients present in herbs.

The most well-known legend about the origin of tea dates back 5000 years, in China, during the reign of Emperor Sheng Nong, an art and science lover known as the Divine Healer.

The Emperor, concerned about the epidemics devastating the kingdom, demanded that all people would boil the water before consuming it.

One day, when the Chinese governor was walking through his gardens, he asked his servants to boil some water. While waiting for the water to cool, some leaves from a bush fell into his glass, giving the water a brownish color. The Emperor decided to taste it and was surprised by the pleasant taste. From that moment on he became a tea lover, inducing this taste to his people.

Around the 9th century, tea was already part of the Chinese daily habits and began to move towards the West, through Central Asia and Russia.
However, it was only when the Portuguese arrived in the East, at the end of the 15th century, that tea became truly known throughout Europe.

The Jesuit priest Cruz, in 1560, was the first European to contact with tea directly and to write about it, benefiting from the fact that Portugal was the western country that opened the way to trade with China.
At this time, Portuguese ships brought shipments of tea to the port of Lisbon, where, most of the cargo, was later re-exported to Netherlands and France.
This commercial alliance lasted until 1602, the year in which the Netherlands began to make the Pacific routes with its merchant navy, gaining a monopoly on this trade.
Tea was becoming very popular all over the world, but the high price made it accessible only to the wealthier.

Later, still in the 17th century, Catarina de Bragança, daughter of the Portuguese King D. João IV and D. Luísa de Gusmão, married King Charles II of England and became Queen Consort of the Kingdom of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Catarina de Bragança‘s doctor had already prescribed her tea for health reasons so in 1662 she traveled to London carrying tea leaves and a China tea set in her luggage.
Legend has it that these tea boxes were marked as Transporte de Ervas Aromáticas (Transport of Aromatic Herbs), later abbreviated to TEA.

When she arrived in England, tea was only consumed as a medicine but the queen continued with her daily habit of drinking tea, making it popular as a social drink.
That was how all the elite joined this five o’clock tea habit and everyone wanted to imitate the queen.
Tea became very much in demand and later spread throughout England becoming almost a typical caricature of a true British.

Nowadays, produced mainly in China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, and Sri Lanka, the Azores, Portugal is the only point in Europe where tea is grown since 1883, under the famous and traditional Portuguese black tea brand, Gorreana.

Ice Tea
Ice Tea

ICE TEA
Although associated with winter afternoons, summer is also perfect to drink your favorite tea in a different way – very cold – because it moisturizes, refreshes and is good for health, due to the antioxidants, minerals, and natural nutrients present in herbs.

To prepare this icy version there are 4 different methods to achieve a drink with a milder, lighter, and fresher flavor, ideal for the hottest days.
But mind that bulk teas are a better choice, having whole leaves and releasing more components than teabags, usually with broken leaves, causing the loss of its aromas and essential oils.

For the Traditional Method, you will need a teaspoon of your favorite herb or blend and 200 ml of water to prepare the hot infusion according to the water temperature and the time indicated on the tea packaging. Let it cool and refrigerate it.

For the Ice Method, take 2 teaspoons of your favorite herb or blend and 200 ml of water to make the hot infusion, according to the water temperature and the time indicated on the tea packaging. Then just pour it into a glass with a lot of ice. The ice will melt and the drink will be cold in a few seconds. To add a special touch, decorate with lemon slices.

The Cold Brew Method, very common with coffee, is a cold extraction, which requires a long period of infusion, but which provides a surprising flavor and aroma to the tea.
If you’re not in a hurry, you’ll love testing it at home with a teaspoon of your favorite herb or blend and 200 ml of water. Put the herbs in a jar and then add the cold water. Cover it and refrigerate for 10 to 12 hours. Next day, strain it and serve it with berries or sliced fruit.

Similar to the Cold Brew, the curious Sun Infused Method provides a more astringent tea, with a slight bitterness flavor, caused by the subtle heating of the water.
Get a teaspoon of your favorite herb or blend and 200 ml of water. Put the herbs in a clear glass container, add cold water, and cover it.
Leave it under direct sunlight for 6 to 8 hours. After this rest period, just strain it and add ice and honey to sweeten. It’s ready to serve.

Tea Shop
Tea Shop

WHERE TO BUY
Sebastian Filgueiras is an Argentine and living in Lisbon since 2000.
Passionate about tea since childhood, he remembers that for his grandmother the tea was so sacred, that she never used detergent on the teapot and the cups to guarantee the best flavor of the tea, using only water to wash them.
With training in tea sommelier and tea blending, in 2014 he decided to open a Tea Shop at Rua do Poço dos Negros, near São Bento.
At Companhia Portugueza de Chá, selling exclusively teas and tea accessories, his knowledge is a great advantage, and the store evokes the spirit of old tea shops in the city, but with its character accentuated with decoration from the East.
His blends are very requested and aromatic and because he is so passionate about Lisbon he decided to create a blend dedicated to the city: Lisbon Breakfast Tea is a stimulating blend made with black tea from the Azores and black tea from Ceylon, and it is a top seller.

The Cafélia is one of my favorite tea shops in Lisbon, at Av. de Roma, because it stores a lot of my childhood memories and it’s a cozy Lisbon store full of character and tradition.
Founded in 1953, it maintains a retro feeling in both decoration and service, which is fundamental when choosing among so many offers.
Mr. António‘s shop sells much more than tea. It is there that I buy the best-selected batches of coffee from São Tomé (top-seller), Jamaica, Colombia, Angola, and Cape Verde.
In addition to coffees, snacks are all tempting and delicious: nuts and dried fruit, cookies (including my favorite and rare arrowroots cookies) all properly stored in foil boxes, and chocolates.
Everything sold by weight and the old fashioned way, like the tea leaves.
My favorite teas from Cafélia are the Green China Pearls Tea, the precious Jazmin Tea, and Earl Grey Tea all packed in brown paper bags with the names written by hand.
That’s why I find that Cafélia is not just a store, but a truly Lisbon experience.

Another store where I like to buy tea is at Maria Granel, the first organic bulk grocery store in Portugal after this consumption habit has been lost over time.
All foods there are of superior quality, nutritious, and organic and the concept of this store allows us to reduce waste which contributes on a large scale to the sustainability of the planet.
But talking about Tea, the variety available here is immense and of all categories: green tea, white tea, red tea and black tea, and blends are for all tastes, from medicinal and therapeutic mixtures to the most aromatic, sweeter, or more unusual
But the tea I buy most often at Maria Granel is the Green tea with puffed rice. The smoky flavor of this tea is unique and perfect for creating homemade blends or accompanying any meal.

You must have guessed by now that I am a tea lover and with this guide I suggest you try this cold drink, exploring different mixtures.
Black tea blends well with peaches, chamomile blends with orange, green tea loves mint and lemon, and white tea is perfect with watermelon.

These are all good ideas for you to enjoy summer days with an ice tea glass.

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